Dr. Phil Maffetone 10: MAF Method for Setting Goal Pace, Ultra Training, Tapering and More

May 18, 2015
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maffetoneOn this show: Get your pens and paper ready to take notes; Dr. Phil Maffetone joins to help you dial in your taper, set a realistic goal race pace (especially for the marathon) and teach you to train MAF-style for ultras.

Plus: find out the #1 way get faster and perform better without changing your training nor training more (hint, the answer is near the end of the show).

Maffetone on Tapering:
-Ironman – 2 weeks out (not 3-4 week taper; why?)
-Marathon – taper a week out to 10 days,
-Last long run a week out is shorter with more recovery days before/after,
-50-70% reduction in volume,
-Before a marathon: 2 days off from running (walk, swim, cycle?)
-Add any anaerobic/intensity intervals? or ditch that?
-Plus: Why Maffetone advises to add 7-second pickups during taper, and why 7 seconds?

Using MAF to Set Goal Race Pace: 
-How to figure it out via MAF test? MAF runs?
Marathon pace: 10-15 sec faster than MAF test pace,
-10k: ~1.5 minute faster pace than MAF test,
-Don’t let goal pace stress you out,
-Why it’s ok to finish feeling like you could have gone harder.

Ironman Marathon Race Pace?
-Can we predict it?
-Goal of Ironman: swim hard, ride bike at MAF, run based on experience in training/racing not HR,
-HR is an ineffective guide for the IM marathon, why?
-If no HR then go by what??
-Gauging goal pace by experience.

Half-Ironman HR Guidelines:
-HR on the bike?
-HR on the run?
-Setting pace goals on the run.

MAF Method for Ultrarunning:
-What is the biggest stress in training and racing? SPEED,
-Ultra removes that giant stressor,
-Add in training at 10 beats under MAF,
-Goal: build low-level base,
-Role and benefit of walking,
-The 10-mile MAF test,
-Injury prevention,
-Volume needs for ultra training,
-Do you really need more time, more miles to train for ultra?
-Why you need to eat & burn even more fat for ultra,
-Key: Change your metabolism for more fat-burning.

-Using a recovery run to gauge adaptations to running,
-and more!

Comments (6)

  • Nick Kaminski says:

    Great podcast! Where can I find details on his recommend diet for Ultras? I’m on a high carb diet now, but not sure how to transition to a low carb/higher fat diet. Thanks!

  • Darth Drummond says:

    Great Podcast! I am one of those cyclist who has a hard time even reaching MAF on the bike. Only been back on a bike for the last 2 years, in Canada so on a trainer alll winter. Any suggestions on workouts? Thanks, Love the podcast.

  • Adam says:

    Maybe a stupid question, but is your MAF pace, the first mile pace? or the last mile pace (mile 5?)


    • Tawnee_Prazak says:

      It's the average of the 5 miles at strict MAF HR. But each mile split still matters because you want to see the spread so be sure to record them as miles not a 5-mile chunk as one lap.

      • Adam says:

        Thanks Tawnee!

        I’ve yet to do a MAF test, I’m running my first Marathon this sunday and have one more light taper run today. So I figured I’d try a MAF test today just to see what my marathon pace should be using this method. I was planning on running at a 8:20 pace, but I’m curious to see what this test yields, and see if it’s close to what I was planning doing.

  • If I used the MAF method to work out my marathon pace I might just as well not bother to go to the race. My MAF no is 115 bpm. My last marathon time 3:37

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